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The Best Women’s Trail Running Shoe

Last updated on October 8, 2019

We looked at the top 7 Women's Trail Running Shoes and dug through the reviews from 29 of the most popular review sites including RunRepeat, WalkJogRun, Verywell Fit, Runner Click, The Trek, Gear Junkie and more. The result is a ranking of the best Women's Trail Running Shoes.

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Our Picks For The Top Women's Trail Running Shoes

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best All-Terrain

ASICS

Women's GEL-Venture 5

Overall Take

Multi-Surface Traction RunnerThe ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 has a durable rubber sole with strong gripping lugs.

  Best for Minimalist Running

JOOMRA

Women's Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes

Overall Take

Responsive Feel ShoeRubber soles offer traction and durability with the JOOMRA Women's Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes.

  Best for Technical Trails

Salomon

Women's Speedcross Trail Runner

Overall Take

Legendary Speedcross PatternThe Salomon Women's Speedcross Trail Runner is perfect for soft, technical trails.

  Best for Durability

New Balance

Women's Trail Running Shoe

Overall Take

All-Weather Condition RunnerThe New Balance Women's Trail Running Shoe has a strong rubber sole with grip designed for all terrain.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
14

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the women's trail running shoes available to purchase.
7

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

29

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

40,027

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon and 7 others.

The Best Overall

ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe

Our Expert Score
9.0
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
6,883 user reviews
Our Take

The ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe offers a high-abrasion rubber sole with a strong grip. It also has a lightweight cushioning system that keeps the runner comfortable. These were surprisingly lightweight yet sturdy during our testing.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

New Balance Women’s Trail Running Shoe

Expert Summarized Score
8.1
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
1,039 user reviews
Our Take

The New Balance Women's Trail Running Shoe features a strong outer sole grip designed for all kinds of terrain. It has added durability features that help the shoe last longer. However, keep in mind that it is not a lightweight speed shoe.

Our Findings

ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe

Best All-Terrain

ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 5 Trail Running Shoe, Frost Gray/Silver/Soothing Sea, 8.5 M US (Apparel)


List Price: $64.95 USD
New From: $64.95 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: The ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe offers a high-abrasion rubber sole with a strong grip. It also has a lightweight cushioning system that keeps the runner comfortable. These were surprisingly lightweight yet sturdy during our testing.

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JOOMRA Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes

What We Liked: The JOOMRA Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoe compliments the anatomy of the foot. The circular lug pattern provides superior grip on rugged terrain. However, the shoe is not waterproof. In our testing, we found these shoes to be comfortable, and we liked the wide toe box. We also liked the bag that came with the shoes.

Stephanie Magrisso/Simplemost Media

Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 W Trail Runner

Best for Technical Trails

SALOMON Women's Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes, Poseidon/Eggshell Blue/Black, 7 Wide (Shoes)


List Price: $130.00 USD
New From: $129.95 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: The Salomon Women’s Speedcross Trail Runner is a tough shoe with a strong rubber sole. It provides superior cushioning to keep the runner comfortable from 10 to 100 miles. Keep in mind that it does not come in wide sizes. In our testing, we found these shoes to be lightweight and comfortable, and we especially liked the drawstring closure. They were very grippy and good for our posture.

Stephanie Magrisso/Simplemost Media

New Balance Women’s Trail Running Shoe

Best for Durability

What We Liked: The New Balance Women’s Trail Running Shoe features a strong outer sole grip designed for all kinds of terrain. It has added durability features that help the shoe last longer. However, keep in mind that it is not a lightweight speed shoe.

Our Expert Consultant

Stephanie Mansour   
Certified Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Expert

Stephanie Mansour, host of “Step It Up with Steph” on public broadcasting, has been coaching women for over a decade on how to lose weight and make it last. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with an emphasis on women’s studies and psychology from the University of Michigan. She holds certifications in life coaching, personal training, yoga and Pilates.

Our Women's Trail Running Shoe Buying Guide

Running is a great form of exercise for fitness novices and seasoned experts. When done on a regular basis, running helps to strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system. Runners also typically have strong leg and thigh muscles, in addition having high bone density in the legs and hips.

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Many runners choose to run on even ground, such as on treadmills and sidewalks. While that certainly has its own benefits, trail running can provide additional physical benefits. Trail running involves running on uneven terrain. It also includes running uphill and downhill, often on very steep inclines.

As a result of running uphill and downhill, trail running actually provides better strength training for legs as compared to road running. Trail runners also need to sharpen their balance and agility skills, ensuring they don’t fall on the uneven ground, which is often full of rocks and tree roots. In addition, trail running involves navigating sharp turns and steep slopes, so runners need to be acutely aware of their surroundings.

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In addition to the physical benefits of trail running, there are also numerous benefits to one’s mental health. Running helps to increase vitality and enhance energy. It can also help to reduce stress and tension. Exercising in the outdoors can help people feel more relaxed and build a closer bond with nature. This is known to boost creativity and feelings of positivity.

In order to protect the joints and muscles from the strains of trail running, it’s critical to have the proper shoes. Road shoes and trail shoes are built differently as they are made for two completely unique environments. Road shoes are made of lightweight material to encourage speed. There is not much need for traction in the soles of the shoes, as roads are an even surface.

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Trail shoes, on the other hand, are more heavy-duty. Their job is to protect the foot from the elements of the uneven terrain. The soles of the trail shoes have enhanced tread patters so that the runner doesn’t slip or fall while navigating stones, sticks, roots and other obstacles on the trail.

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“You’re looking for that traction on the bottom fo the foot but also durability on the outside of the foot,” Stephanie Mansour, a certified personal trainer and the founder of fitness brand Step It Up Steph, advises. She notes that you want a trail shoe made with materials that will support and protect your foot from rocks, tree roots or anything else you may knock into on the trail.

Stephanie Magrisso/Simplemost Media

“Unlike a running or a walking shoe, you’re looking for a shoe that is a little bit stiffer,” Mansour says. “This is because it needs to withstand the treacherous environment that you won’t find in a gym or on a sidewalk! These shoes need to be built to last.”

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Simplemost Fun Fact

Like all intense sporting activities, trail running comes with its own unique vocabulary. If you hear a trail runner talking about refilling their bladder, it’s unlikely they are referring to a part of their human anatomy. Instead, they are likely talking about their hydration pack with an attachable straw. Many trail runners use a bladder to carry liters of liquid on their backs during their run.

When talking about the race, you may hear the term vert. This refers to how much elevation a trail has. If you hear someone say that a race was a hundo, this means that it was a hundred-mile race. Is a race labeled ultra? This means that it’s longer than the standard marathon distance of 42.2 kilometers.

When you’re exhausted in the middle of a race, likely as a result of dehydration or a lack of calories, the term you use to describe that is a bonk. It’s similar to hitting the wall, but specifically for trail running.

The Women's Trail Running Shoe Tips and Advice

  • The most important element to consider when purchasing your trail shoes is the sole of the shoe. This is what will protect your feet from the various terrain you’ll encounter on your run. The ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe boasts a strong rubber sole with multi-surface traction. JOOMRA Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes, on the other hand, has a rubber outsole that allows the runner to experience a more responsive feel of the terrain. The sole has a circular lug pattern, which provides a strong grip on the uneven terrain. The Salomon Women’s Speedcross Trail Runner has a rubber sole designed specially to eat up soft terrain. The New Balance Women’s Trail Running Shoe features a rubber sole with all-terrain tread.
  • In order to have the comfort you need to complete long, intense runs, it’s critical for your trail running shoe to have solid support for your foot. The ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe features a GEL cushioning system, plus a removable foam sockliner that accommodates orthotics. The JOOMRA Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes provides removable insoles designed to support the feet’s arches. This helps you to transfer weight over the ball of the feet and not put too much pressure on the arch.
  • When running outdoors, it’s important to choose a shoe that can withstand the elements. The Salomon Women’s Speedcross Trail Runner is waterproof, so you can easily run in the rain without soaking your socks. Keep in mind that the JOOMRA Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes take a long time to dry when they get wet.
  • If you have a particularly wide or narrow foot, it’s important to choose a shoe that accommodates your size. The ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe is known to have a narrow inside, which can limit the flexing of the feet. The Salomon Women’s Speedcross Trail Runner is also designed specifically for narrow feet and does not come in wide sizes. The New Balance Women’s Trail Running Shoe, on the other hand, is good for those with wider feet.
  • When dealing with rough terrain with lots of loose rocks and dirt, your trail running shoes are bound to get a bit muddy. If you want your shoes to look spic and span after a few wears, it’s important to choose one that can be easily cleaned. It can be difficult to wash the dirt out of the mesh fabric of the ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe. When washing the JOOMRA Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoe, keep in mind that it will take a long time to dry.
  • For some runners, style is as important as function. It’s nice to have the option to choose a trail running shoe that comes in the color combinations that reflect your unique style. All four trail running shoes come in multiple color combinations. Note that the ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe and the New Balance Women’s Trail Running Shoe come in fewer colors than the JOOMRA Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoe and Salomon Women’s Speedcross Trail Runner.

About The Author

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Anam Ahmed 

Anam Ahmed is a copywriter and essayist based in Toronto. She has been writing on technology, travel, parenting, and business for over 10 years, and works with a number of high-profile organizations. She values finding the best products to make people's lives easier. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.